By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — LaQuinton Ross hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2 seconds to play, and Ohio State moved within one win of its second straight Final Four appearance with a 73-70 victory over Arizona on Thursday night in the West Regional semifinals.
Ross, the Buckeyes’ remarkable reserve, scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half for second-seeded Ohio State (29-7), which rallied from an early 11-point deficit and weathered the sixth-seeded Wildcats’ late charge for its 11th consecutive victory since mid-February.
Deshaun Thomas scored 20 points for Ohio State, and Aaron Craft added 13 before ceding the Buckeyes’ final shot to Ross. Craft hit an awfully similar 3-pointer against Iowa State last Sunday to send Ohio State forward.
Mark Lyons’ acrobatic three-point play for the Wildcats (27-8) had tied it with 21.8 seconds left.
Craft dribbled down the clock and gave the ball to Ross, who coolly drilled his second 3-pointer and set off a wild celebration in the Ohio State section of the Arizona-dominated crowd.
Ohio State will play Saturday against ninth-seeded Wichita State for a spot in the Final Four.
WICHITA ST. 72, LA SALLE 58
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wichita State went from sweet to elite, beating La Salle to reach the final eight of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 32 years.
Malcolm Armstead scored 18 points, Carl Hall added 16 and freshman Ron Baker 13 for the ninth-seeded Shockers, who proved their upset of No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the third round was no fluke. They never trailed in this matchup of small schools whose past NCAA tourney success was long buried in the history books.
Wichita State (29-8) tied the school’s 2010-11 team for most victories. That group won the NIT title. These Shockers have designs on next matching what the 1965 team did — reaching the Final Four.
La Salle (24-10) briefly fought back in the second half — getting within 11 points — but the Shockers made sure the history of No. 13 seeds never making the final eight remained intact.
Jerrell Wright and Tyrone Garland led the Explorers with 16 points each. Ramon Galloway, who averages a team-leading 17.4 points, was held to 11 for a program that won the 1954 NCAA championship and reached the 1955 national title game.
SYRACUSE 61, INDIANA 50
WASHINGTON (AP) — With its 2-3 zone defense disruptive from start to finish, and Michael Carter-Williams pouring in 24 points, fourth-seeded Syracuse upset No. 1 seed Indiana to reach the East Regional final.
Syracuse limited Indiana to its lowest point total of the season, forced 19 turnovers, blocked 10 shots and held the normally efficient Hoosiers (29-7) to 33 percent shooting.
After getting past preseason No. 1 Indiana, Syracuse (29-9) will face No. 3 seed Marquette on Saturday night in an all-Big East matchup for a berth in the Final Four. Coach Jim Boeheim and the Orange haven’t been to the national semifinals since Carmelo Anthony led them to the 2003 title.
MARQUETTE 71, MIAMI 61
WASHINGTON (AP) — After sweating through a pair of edge-of-your-seat comebacks early in the NCAA tournament, Vander Blue and Marquette figured out how to put one away early as the Golden Eagles earned their first trip to the Elite Eight since 2003 with a victory over Miami.
Blue, who spurred the rallies that beat Davidson by one and Butler by two, finished with 14 points. He wasn’t Marquette’s leading scorer — that was Jamil Wilson with 16 — but it was Blue’s offensive and defensive energy that pushed the Golden Eagles to a double-digit lead in the first half, a spread Miami never came close to making up.
The third-seeded Golden Eagles (26-8) are aiming for a spot in the Final Foul for the first time since Dwyane Wade took them there a decade ago.
Miami (29-7) made only 35 percent of its field goals and missed 18 of 26 3-pointers. Shane Larkin scored 14 points to lead the second-seeded Hurricanes, whose NCAA run to the round of 16 matched the best in school history.